Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I had just returned from an exciting but exhausting ministry trip. I was, as I think the British say, "cabbaged" kind of described me. Two of our staff picked up my remains at the airport, and I settled deep into the passenger side of the front seat. As we were approaching my home, one of my co-workers said, "I can tell you're really tired." I asked how. The answer: "You didn't ask to drive." Now that's amazing. I always want to drive, and this time the thought hadn't even occurred to me!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Too Tired To Drive."

For some of us, that is the only way we will ever give up the wheel - to God, that is. If we're just too whipped, too beat up, too tired to drive. And we were never meant to control the direction of what's going on in our life. But we try, and we give God a major fight over the wheel; especially in areas of our life that really matter to us where we want control. Maybe that's why the pain is so great right now, the frustration so unrelenting, the load so overwhelming.

In our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, the Apostle Paul writes about the bombardment of pressure he was feeling, and his feelings may echo yours right now. He says, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure (does that sound at all familiar?), so that we despaired even of life." This is heavy stress. Growing discouragement, growing despair. How bad did it get? Paul says, "Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death." It felt like they were going to die, at least emotionally.

But there was a purpose for the pressures. Paul found that purpose - so can you. He says, "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." The apostle says, "God allowed us to really get hammered so we would finally relinquish control and let Him do it His way." In a sense, Paul just was too battle-tired to drive anymore. And he said, "OK, Lord, here. You drive."

You may be one of those folks who really likes to hold onto the wheel of the things that really matter in your life; taking your business or your career where you want it to go, taking your children or mate where you want to them to go, or your ministry, your love life, your financial plans. See, we all have holdout areas that raise their ugly fists against the Lordship of Jesus Christ. For women, the control areas often tend to be in the area of relationships. For men, it's often in their areas of achievement. But wherever you're in control, you're out of line.

But you're pretty tired from the battles, aren't you? God has brought you to the place where you are too tired to drive. Are you ready to finally relinquish that wheel? To finally give up being a "Sinatra-ite" - "I'll do it my way!" You've tried it your way, and you're weaving and you're beat, and maybe ready to crash. Move over to the passenger side, and enjoy the wonderful peace and rest of God driving. You can trust Him. After all, He loved you enough to die for you!